Quick thinking and connections at Basin Electric ‘stuff’ hungry bellies

Mark Meier at Heaven's Helpers Soup Cafe holding a container of deer sausage
Mark Meier, Heaven's Helpers.

Lisa Carney, Basin Electric executive administrative assistant in the Asset Management, Resource Planning, and Rates department, made a dastardly discovery the other day.

“Our almost 30-year-old chest freezer had seen its days,” Carney says.  She had opened the freezer door and the top half of its contents were completely thawed out. “After moving what I could into another freezer, I was left with a substantial amount of sausage that would either be tossed or hopefully donated.”

Dozens of pounds of deer sausage were hanging in the balance, and Carney had to think fast or the whole stash would be smoked.  She was hunting out co-workers to see who wanted some, and that’s when Jen Holen, Basin Electric charitable giving administrator, popped into her mind.

Carney’s gears were grinding, thinking about Holen’s links to charities around town. “From working with Jen in the past, I know she has built a relationship as liaison between Basin Electric and many different agencies throughout Bismarck/Mandan communities,” Carney says.

Holen saw Carney’s message, and thought of Heaven’s Helpers Soup Café as the perfect recipient. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen the need for food be one of the fastest growing needs. Mark [Meier] at Heaven Helpers Soup Café gets very creative in coming up with all different kinds of soups and delicious meals depending on what types of foods are donated,” Holen says. “When Lisa contacted me, I knew the deer sausage could be put to good use there. It feels good that I could be a small part in helping get the meat into a hearty meal for someone to be a little less hungry.”

After casing the joint, Carney says she made the doe-nation right away that same day. “The volunteers there, and Mark, showed gratitude and genuine appreciation.”

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